Giants deserve tie after Brian Daboll’s conservative call


The game was there to be won, and Daniel Jones had it on fourth-and-3 at the Washington 45 in overtime — and Brian Daboll decided it was better not to lose it than to try to win it.

Daboll, who once upon a time was Riverboat Brian going for two to beat the Titans, punted on the chance to win it and so the Giants (7-4-1) did not deserve to win and were left trying to make sense of this 20-20 tie with the Commanders that felt more like a loss to them because it was a division game at home.

Sorry fellas, there are no medals for tying.

You play for the tie, you deserve what you get.

“It feels like a loss,” Saquon Barkley said.

It is damning commentary and a downright shame that the head coach could not trust his quarterback and his impotent offense to make 3 yards with a win at hand and begging to be had.

By the same token, it is understandable if Daboll was spooked by Jones and Barkley and Richie James colliding in the backfield because of an egregious miscommunication on the previous third-and-3.

“There was a conversation to go for it versus not go for it … If you go for it and miss it, there’s a short field, they go get a win against a division team,” Daboll said. “And they were going with the wind.”

Left unsaid is that if you have Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen or Joe Burrow etc., you go for it, no questions asked. Jones continues to try to make a case that you can win with him, with the paucity of playmakers that surround him and the suffocated Barkley (18-63, 5-18 receiving), but here was evidence that you can tie with him if you try hard enough.

Giants coach Brian Daboll
Bill Kostroun

Jones, as is his nature, blamed himself for the mindless three-headed collision.

“I got to do a better job of communicating that and making sure we’re in the right play and the right situation and execute in those critical situations,” he said.

He had every opportunity to play the hero. Consider that at one point late in regulation, Jones was 17-for-18 and his one incompletion was a spike, on a day when he would lead the Giants in rushing (12-71).

“I thought he played a pretty good game,” Daboll said.

But not good enough to trust him to win the game.


The Giants’ defense would pin Taylor Heinicke by the shadow of his goal line and give Jones one last chance, with 28 seconds and no timeouts left from his 43. Complete to James for 14. Spike. Complete to Daniel Bellinger out of bounds for 3 yards. 10 seconds remaining. Needed 5 more yards for Graham Gano. Throwaway, five seconds remaining. Field goal from 58 yards came up short.

Giants kicker Graham Gano #9, reacts after missing a field goal as time expired in overtime.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

“Yeah, I think those situations — our coaches and he’s got a group of people who study those situations and make the best decision for us and the game situation,” Jones said. “I understand that. We had a chance, got the ball back, had a chance to go down and kick it. Yeah, I understand.”

Barkley: “As a competitor, you want to go out there and make those plays. At the end of the day, [Daboll] is going to make the decisions to put us in the best case to win the game. He’s been doing a really good job all year, and we’re not going to start questioning now.”

Jones had been bitten by his fumble bug on the opening possession which led to a field goal. But his 21-yard scamper led to a field goal and his 55-yard bomb to Darius Slayton was the impetus to tie the game before halftime.

But on third-and-1 at the Washington 11 with 19 seconds and no timeouts left before intermission, Jones kept the ball for a 2-yard gain instead of taking an end zone shot and here came Gano for the tying field goal.

“[Offensive coordinator Mike Kafka] called one that we thought was going to hit. We definitely could’ve done that. But we didn’t,” Daboll said.

It was 20-13 after Jones took advantage of a short field given him by Azeez Ojulari and found Isaiah Hodgins with a 6-yard TD pass 3:26 into the third quarter.

The Giants never scored again:

Giants coach Brian Daboll
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Three-and-out … three-and-out … a Jon Feliciano taunting penalty at the end of a 12-yard completion to Slayton … a bomb that Slayton could not pull down at the Washington 38 that became a three-and-out … kneel at end of regulation … one first down …

Then fourth-and-tie.

Daboll: “They had better play calls than we had.”

Jones: “We had plenty of opportunities and didn’t convert on them. Disappointing down the stretch, for sure.”

They didn’t deserve to win. Only deserve the bad taste in their mouths.

“It sucks,” Barkley said.

No medals for tying.

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